Samuel Gregg

Samuel Gregg is Research Director at the Acton Institute. He has authored many books including, most recently, For God and Profit: How Banking and Finance Can Serve the Common Good (2016).

recent articles

Crony Capitalism: Inefficient, Unjust, and Corrupting

Donald Trump’s candidacy has brought many topics to greater public attention: everything from frustration with the political correctness that the left uses to stifle debate, to wage stagnation and immigration policy. Another subject, however, that has gained significant traction because of the Trump campaign is the problem of crony capitalism—or, more simply, cronyism. It’s not … Read more

The End of Europe

In his Mémoires d’Espoir, the leader of Free France during World War II and the founder of the Fifth Republic, General Charles de Gaulle, wrote at length about a subject on many people’s minds today—Europe. Though often portrayed as passionately French to the point of incorrigibility, de Gaulle was, in his own way, quintessentially European. For … Read more

An Archbishop and the Catholic Conscience

Conscience is one of those subjects about which numerous Catholics today are, alas, sadly misinformed. Despite great Catholic minds such as Thomas Aquinas, Thomas More, and John Henry Newman discoursing at length on the question, some Catholics speak of it in ways that have little in common with the Church’s understanding of conscience. The latest … Read more

Augustine, Aquinas, or Kant? Pope Francis at the UN

One of the world’s worst-kept secrets is the Holy See’s high regard for the United Nations. Since Paul VI, popes have appeared before its General Assembly to express their “great esteem,” as Francis remarked in his recent UN address, for its work. Not all Catholics entertain favorable views of the UN. They point, for instance, … Read more

It’s Time for an Encyclical on Christian Persecution

No-one would describe the New York Times as especially sympathetic to orthodox Christianity. The Grey Lady’s established aversion to anything but all-but-completely secularized versions of the Christian faith didn’t, however, stop it from recently publishing a widely-read article underscoring the on-going brutal persecution of Christians in the Middle East. If the Times is perturbed about … Read more

Getting to Know the Real St. Francis

Franciscan peace is not something saccharine. Hardly! That is not the real Saint Francis! Nor is it a kind of pantheistic harmony with forces of the cosmos. That is not Franciscan either! It is not Franciscan, but a notion that some people have invented! These words were not articulated by a representative of the Texas … Read more

Cardinal Kasper Could Learn from This African Bishop

“But they should not tell us too much what we have to do.” Such were the words used by the German theologian Cardinal Walter Kasper to describe what he thought of African contributions during the 2014 Synod on the Family as Catholic bishops and laity gathered to discuss challenges facing the family in the modern … Read more

Conservatism after Obama

The final two years of two-term American presidencies are generally seen as their least significant. President Obama’s recent recourse to what some regard as extra-legal measures indicates, however, that we shouldn’t take this for granted. But no matter what political events unfold between now and November 2016, one thing is certain: American conservatives have to consider … Read more

Are Appeals to Natural Law and Right Reason Still Effective?

Recent months have witnessed an emerging debate among some American conservatives, especially religiously informed conservatives and, even more specifically, Catholic conservatives. This debate concerns how they can (and, in some cases, whether they should even attempt to) engage in a public square that seems ever more rooted in modern liberal presuppositions and preoccupations. At the … Read more

St. John Fisher, Marriage, and Moral Absolutes

In his October 2013 article on the question of communion for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, Cardinal Gerhard Müller underscored that the Catholic Church had risked much to uphold Christ’s teaching regarding true marriage’s indissolubility. The Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith singled out the fact that Catholicism had suffered the … Read more

Christianity: Foundation of Western Success

In his famous critique of John Stuart Mill, Mill and Liberalism (1963) the Cambridge historian Maurice Cowling underscored just how much the views advanced by self-identified liberals were underpinned by the conviction that their conception of the historical background to any number of events is more-or-less universally accepted. Sometimes they are right in making that … Read more

Why Max Weber Was Wrong

Max Weber is justly famous for many things, but especially for having developed a theory about the relationship between capitalism and religion. The influence of The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism remains considerable, not least because it has become a staple of sociological literature on the subject. Based on lectures he gave during a … Read more

The Jesuit, Pope Francis, and the Poor

Since the first Jesuit pope’s election earlier this year, the words “poverty” and “the poor” have acquired fresh resonance inside and outside the Catholic Church. Of course the Catholic Church has always devoted special attention to the materially poor and otherwise suffering. And with Pope Francis, one senses he is the real deal regarding poverty. … Read more

Pope Francis and the Catholic Way of Dialogue

“Dialogue, dialogue, dialogue.” That, according to Pope Francis, is the response he gives when leaders ask him for advice about how to resolve their societies’ internal differences. It is, he recently told a gathering of prominent Brazilians, the only way for societies to avoid the dead-ends of what Francis called “selfish indifference” and “violent protest.” … Read more

Pope Francis on the True Meaning of Poverty

“How I long for a poor Church for the poor!” With these words spoken after being elected pope, Jorge Bergoglio underscored a theme that continues to be front-and-center of his papacy. Not surprisingly, many have concluded such statements demonstrate that Pope Francis wants Catholics to devote greater attention to poverty-alleviation. In one sense, this is … Read more

Veritatis Splendor: The Encyclical that Mattered

There are papal encyclicals, and then there are papal encyclicals. Some escape public attention almost from the moment they’re promulgated. Others continue reverberating inside the Church decades after they appear. But there’s also a third type of encyclical: those which assume truly civilizational significance. This year marks the twentieth anniversary of one document that falls … Read more

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